Florida Governor Rick Scott (R) denied that his effort to purge voters from the rolls disproportionately targets minorities who support Democratic candidates on Friday morning, even as independent investigations have confirmed that 58 percent “of those flagged as potential noncitizens are Hispanics.” “The Secretary of State’s office is doing the right thing,” Scott told the Miami Herald in defending his effort, before insisting that the administration is “absolutely not” targeting minorities.
Asked if he was planning to heed the Department of Justice’s request that the state abandon its voter-cleansing program, Scott said that the Secretary of State is still reviewing the matter.
“The Secretary of State’s office is going to review what the Department of Justice has said,” he said “And then we’re going to make a decision.”
In a letter released on Thursday, the federal government claimed that Scott’s purge violates the 1965 Voting Rights Act — which requires the state to seek federal approval of its campaign — and the National Voter Registration Act. That measure says that “a State shall complete, not later than 90 days prior to the date of a primary or general election for Federal office, any program the purpose of which is to systematically remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters.” As a result, Florida should have finished the process by May 16.
But while Scott is still considering his options, a growing number of election officials have already rejected his error-ridden voter purge list. A ThinkProgress analysis of several county supervisors in Florida has also found that a large number of the voters on the list are indeed eligible voters, including at leasttwo World War II veterans.